Molcho, Erekat met to pave way for higher-level meetings

April 5, 2012 19:27


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Israeli negotiator Yitzhak Molcho met Wednesday with his Palestinian counterpart Saeb Erekat to prepare for a post-Pessah meeting between Prime Minster Binyamin Netanyahu and PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, Israeli officials confirmed Thursday.

Molcho and Erekat held five rounds of talks in Jordan in January, but the officials said Wednesday's meeting was not a continuation of those discussions which ended when the Palestinians demanded that Israel stop all settlement construction, agreed that a future agreement be based on the June 5, 1967 lines, and release a number of Fatah prisoners.

Those conditions are likely to be contained in the letter Erekat is expected to deliver to Netanyahu. A few days later, Molcho is expected to go to Ramallah and deliver Israel's response – also in the form of a letter – to PA President Mahmoud Abbas.

The reason the two sides won't deliver their letters at the same time, one official said, is because Israel wanted to be able to respond specifically to the content of the Palestinian letter.

The location of Wednesday's Molcho-Erekat talks was not disclosed. The two men last met on January 25 in Amman.

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